As the pursuit of employee wellbeing gains increasing attention in today’s work landscape, a significant gap has emerged between leaders and their employees in terms of how they perceive wellbeing. While leaders may have good intentions, understanding the unique perspectives and needs of their workforce is essential for fostering a thriving workplace.  

Understanding the Gap Between Leaders and Employees 

Recent research conducted by Deloitte has shed light on the divide between leaders and employees concerning workplace wellbeing. More than 3 in 4 executives believe the health of their team has improved, whilst most employees feel their health has worsened or stayed the same in the last year. Approximately half of employees surveyed “always” or “often” feel exhausted (52%) or stressed (49%). Whilst these issues are not unique to employees, leaders and managers do not have a clear understanding on how their teams are really doing and this is proving to be detrimental to employee’s wellbeing, engagement and productivity.  

This disparity between leaders, managers and employees can lead to several negative consequences for employee wellbeing in the workplace:  

  • Lack of Support: Employees may feel unsupported and misunderstood, as their managers fail to recognise their needs and struggles. This can exacerbate stress levels and hinder their ability to perform at their best. 
  • Increased Burnout: When managers underestimate the demands on their employees, it often results in excessive workloads and unrealistic expectations. This can contribute to burnout, affecting both mental and physical health.  
  • Decreased Engagement: Employees who perceive a lack of concern for their wellbeing are less likely to be engaged with their work and the organisation as a whole. This can lead to reduced motivation and lower productivity levels. 

To bridge this gap, organisations must actively empower and upskill leaders and managers to prioritise employee wellbeing.  

Leadership Training and Education 

96% of managers agree that they should take some responsibility for their employee’s wellbeing, yet only 54% actively check in with their employees, leaving 32% of employees believing their manager does not care for their wellbeing. Whilst it is clear C-suite executives play a pivotal role in workplace wellbeing, the issue is that many of these individuals do not have the tools to successfully support their teams.  

Providing managers with comprehensive education and training programs that highlight the importance of wellbeing, stress management, and mental health awareness, equips and empowers managers with the necessary knowledge to better understand and address their team’s needs. 

Our Leadership High Performance program is designed to improve the health and wellbeing of your organisation’s leaders and managers, and create a culture which fosters wellbeing for all, through tailored learning and development.   

Enhancing Communication and Transparency  

70% of managers say obstacles within an organisation prevent them from doing more to support their team members wellbeing. Support for wellbeing must come from the top down – relevant stakeholders must ensure workplace policies are aligned with company wellbeing goals and communicated appropriately to management. Leaders can then be encouraged to actively communicate the rationale behind wellbeing decisions and seek employee input to foster a culture of transparency and collaboration.  

Fostering Supportive Leadership  

It isn’t enough to simply provide the tools and education for leaders and managers, they must actively play a role in shaping the perception of wellbeing within the organisation.  Research indicates that employees’ perception of their leaders’ support significantly influences their overall wellbeing. Encourage leaders to actively listen to employee concerns, participate in wellbeing initiatives, and recognise employee achievements. Implementing regular check-ins and mentoring programs can also foster stronger relationships between leaders and their teams, leading to a more positive and supportive work environment.  

Measuring and Evaluating Wellbeing Initiatives  

To ensure the effectiveness of wellbeing initiatives, regular evaluation must be considered. This starts with ensuring that managers have clear metrics to follow when it comes to their team members wellbeing. Employee wellbeing can then be better reviewed and allows leaders to make informed adjustments, address any gaps, and demonstrate a commitment to continuously improving employee wellbeing.  

Ready to implement a wellbeing program with tangible benefits for everyone involved?